I photo shopped images of Kim Kardashian and Amanda Bynes on to an Amazon screengrab of a yoghurt maker. The masturbation subtext of the joke being obvious. But i was interested in the way female celebrities use sexuality to sell films , books, music or themselves. Kim K got famous because she released a sex tape with a minor singer who was only known for being the brother of a more famous celebrity Brandy. Who now is a judge on American Idol
Prior to the sex tape she was known for being the girlfriend of athletes, and no one had heard of her family.
Amanda Bynes career in to adult roles stalled despite starring in a series of underwear photo shoots in mens magazines. But her face and images, now she is having a public breakdown, are appropriated by artists and the media and anyone with a computer.
Basquiat created an alter ego Samo (pronounced 'same-oh') with artist Al Diaz while they were in highschool. The word Samo stands for 'same old shit'. Basquiat turned Samo in to a street guru, littering buildings and shops with meaningless aphorisms and affirmations like 'clap your hands and say yeah' that mirrored the bill boards and posters he grew up with.
Leading us to question the nature of advertisements ourselves and our relation to them. Increasingly advertisers have moved beyond the simple selling of the benefits of a product and now wish to establish an emotional connection, using something called signifiers. Buy this product and buy this lifestyle, buy this product and be this person. Basquiat himself now is a celebrity, albeit a dead one and his image is appropriated. (I shall research who owns his estate)
Ironic since Warhol and Basquiat among others were artists who sought to subvert how the media viewed them as artists and celebrities.
Various street artists have used celebrities in art , with the celebrities features far removed, in the artists hands, from their original source. We can see this effect with Shepheard Faireys Andre the giant.
In any case, artists were now taking the images of celebrities they are deluged with, and using them the same way the celebrities themselves do. The images of celebs become product of a corporation, like Tesco towells, or own brand loo roll generic enough to be cheap, different enough to sail under copyright.
Thanks for reading- work in progress.